Opa! Spend a day in Greece without leaving Hernando County.
That's exactly what the folks of Christ the Savior Greek Orthodox Church in Brooksville have in mind for those attending their Greek Festival, running today and Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., at the Hernando County Fairgrounds, 6436 Broad St. in Brooksville.
"My hope is to make everyone who attends to feel like they are in Greece experiencing the very friendly and happy culture, with ambiance and décor," said event coordinator, Emily Thomas.
Greek specialty foods like gyros, moussaka, spanakopita and Greek salads will be served, plus a selection desserts such as baklava, diples, kourambiedes and baklava cheesecake.
Prices range from $2 for side dishes to $10 and $12 for traditional main dishes.
"We will also have a variety of vendors, so you can bring home some Greek specialty items," Thomas said.
Greek dance troops along with the church's youth and senior dance groups will perform traditional folk dance performances.
Free dance lessons throughout the day will teach participants traditional Greek folk dances.
Live Greek and American music will be provided by Demetri of "Demetri and the Islanders Band" from noon to 8 p.m. both days.
Belly dance group, Shazadi and Jewels of the Desert, are also performing both evenings.
A 1-mile "Toga Fun Run" starts at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday at the fairgrounds, where participants can walk, jog, or run (wearing togas if they want) in the spirit of Olympus for a $20 registration fee.
Awards will be given to the top male and female toga run winners, in the ages 5-12 and 13-plus categories.
Festival admission is $2 for adults and free for children 11 and under.
Events for the kids are planned, including a kids fun zone, with two bounce houses, a slide, balloon art and face painting. Admission to the bounce houses and slide is $3 per day.
Proceeds from the festival will benefit Brooksville New Beginnings Youth Shelter, the Brooksville Rotary, and the philanthropic works of Christ the Savior Greek Orthodox Church.
For more info, contact Emily Thomas at (352) 650- 0307 or visit www.hernandogreekfestival.com and www.facebook.com/HCGreekFestival.
Hernando Today correspondent Heather Francis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.